A Farewell (of Sorts) to John Ballard

This month marks the official retirement of UHY Haines Norton Director John Ballard, who is stepping down from the demanding Director role in favour of much-deserved long weekends on Waiheke.  Although John will still be a familiar face here in the office as he assists in a part-time consulting role, his retirement from the Director team certainly marks the end of an era.

John set up his first accounting practice more than 40 years ago.  His natural leadership skills, combined with a fierce dedication to his clients, have ensured his success whilst earning great respect.

We took the opportunity to sit down with John to reminisce about his career and the incredible changes he has witnessed over the years.

How did your career as an accountant begin?

I was working for the Ministry of Works in town, and that was a very good job.  We started the practice in Henderson in March 1970 – the position was advertised with an accounting office in Avondale wanting to open up in Henderson as “the growth area” so I did that.  In those days when we had an office in Avondale it was a toll call from Henderson to Avondale – that is an operator-assisted toll call.  Not long afterwards it became automated but it was still a toll call.  The West City mall wasn’t thought up or dreamed of, or even on the plan – that came years later.  That’s when we started.  In those days Catherine Street was just that: a street, not Catherine Mall, it was a street, the road went right through and then they plonked the Mall in the middle of it. From where our office is was a metal road.  And so we saw lots of opportunity in the west, which proved to be correct. 


Agriculture News: April / May 2014


  • Dairy milk prices have dropped for the fifth consecutive time in a row, which hopefully will contribute to the decision to leave interest rates where they currently are.  As farmers selling our produce, the last thing we need is high interest rates equating to a high dollar.  On the counter side of this argument, the housing demand – especially in Auckland – is still significant, as are the increasing numbers of new immigrants to New Zealand and the building boom commencing in Canterbury.
  • Stock prices appear to be holding despite the drought some of us have experienced in recent months.  Weaner prices appear to have been a mixed bag with good lines selling well at the fares, however lower to middle of the range stock was marginal.  Dairy cow prices also appear to be consistent with the previous year, despite the record Fonterra pay out.
  • Now is the time for regressing and getting ready for the winter months, and here’s hoping for another mild winter like most regions experienced last year.

SMEs: The Important Role of Internal Control Reviews

Consideration of an entity’s control environment is often regarded as the domain of large entities such as publicly listed companies or government departments. While the control environment of a small or medium-sized entity (SME) may differ from that of a large organisation, it is equally important that it is reviewed regularly in order to ensure the effective management of risks which may change with the business.

In the context of SMEs, the effectiveness of the management of risks in the control environment is determined by the attitude, actions and awareness of business owners and management towards the internal control system and their perceived importance of it to the SME’s overall objectives. The control environment sets the tone and culture of an organisation.